In our “25 Statistics” series, we will look into each position and grab 25 of the most meaningful and fantasy relevant statistics that ultimately reveal a bigger narrative of a player’s season. Check out the recent 25 QB Stats and stay tuned as we reveal a position each week over the next month.
Wide receivers were tricky this year. Players you expected to do well, often disappointed you while others you may have picked up on waivers stepped in and propelled you to fantasy football glory. This all makes for an interesting season full of interesting stats for the wide receiver position.
25 Statistics: WRs in 2017
1) It was a down year as a whole for pass-catchers as WRs caught their fewest TDs (84) over the last 10 years. The previous low (97) was in 2008. Thus, total PPR points (3085.4) were the lowest they’ve been in the last decade.
2) Cincinnati Bengals WR Alex Ericksonhad just 88 total touches on the season (12 receptions/5 carries/39 punt returns/32 kickoff returns) yet, he fumbled the ball SEVEN times!
3) Tavon Austin led all WRs in rushing yards and attempts. He had 37 more rushing attempts than targets and 214 more rushing yards than receiving yards. Does this make him a running back by default? I mean, great wide receivers don’t need to run the ball. Three of the top five WRs in standard scoring didn’t record a single run on the season (Marvin Jones WR5, Antonio Brown WR2, and DeAndre Hopkins WR1).
4) DeAndre Hopkins led all WRs in targets (176), touchdowns (13), and fantasy points in Standard (213.80) and 0.5 PPR (261.80). Antonio Brown (310.30) did beat Hopkins (309.80) in full PPR by a half point.
5) DeAndre Hopkins had just one (active) game with fewer than 10 PPR points this season. That came in Week 6 when he just missed double-digits with 9.90 fantasy points. He also had his fewest targets of any game this season with 4.
6) Jarvis Landry led the league with 112 receptions on the season but somehow failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards by 13 yards.
7) Golden Tatecaught 92 of his 120 targets on the season. His 76.7% catch rate was the highest among any receiver with 28 or more targets this year. What’s even crazier about his impressive catch rate is that there are 20 other players that had a better catch rate. Tate just happens to be the first WR on the list at #21.
It’s time for some rapid fire stats on Julio Jones...
8) Julio Jones‘ WR7 PPR finish in 2017, was the HIGHEST for someone with fewer than 4 TDs in the last 15 years. Other than Wes Welker‘s 3-TD 2008 campaign finishing as WR10, the only other WRs to crack the top 20 with less than 4 TDs are Kendall Wright (2013) and Jerricho Cotchery (2007), who both finished as the WR20.
9) Julio Jones was extremely inefficient in the red zone this year, catching just 5 of his 20 targets for a total of 33 yards and 1 touchdown, yet he finished as the WR4 in half PPR, WR6 in Standard, and WR7 in full PPR formats. Just as a RANDOM comparison, DeAndre Hopkins had 1 fewer red zone target than Juilo, but caught 9 of them… 7 of those 9 for touchdowns.
10) Julio Jones had the highest fantasy points from any position for a single game in 2017. It came in Week 12 when he caught 12 of his 15 targets for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also threw in a rush for 15 yards. Julio finished that week with 38.80 (Standard), 44.80 (1/2 PPR), and 50.80 (full PPR) fantasy points.
11) Julio Jones finished 2nd in receiving yards. He has been in the top 3 in receiving yards in each of his last 4 seasons. (2nd in 2017, 2nd in 2016, 1st in 2015, and 3rd in 2014)
12) The oldest wide receiver in the league, Larry Fitzgerald (34), finished as a WR1 in PPR for the third season in a row. If you think age is catching up to him, you’re wrong. His 2017 ranking as the WR4 was his best of those 3 seasons (2016 WR11, 2015 WR7).
13) The longest reception award goes to Juju Smith-Schuster on a 97-yard TD catch in Week 8 vs the Detroit Lions. Juju had his best game of the season that week, finishing with 7 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown.
14) Quarterbacks love players they can confidently look to on those tough 3rd-down plays. No one was better than Keenan Allen in 2017. He led all WRs in targets (58), receptions (36), receiving yards (552), and fantasy points in all formats on 3rd downs.
15) Antonio Brown earned the receiving title for the second time in his career with 1,533 yards. He has at least 1,284 receiving yards per season for 5 consecutive years and over 1,500 receiving yards in 3 of the past 4 seasons.
16) Antonio Brown also led all WRs in yards per game with 109.5. He was the only WR to have over 100 yards on a per game average this season.
17) Michael Thomas had the 3rd most receptions this season with 104. He now has 196 catches in his first two NFL seasons which is the all-time best, beating outJarvis Landry who had 194 total receptions in 2014 and 2015.
18) As disappointing as Sammy Watkins was this year, he did lead the Rams with 8 touchdown receptions. This is despite the fact that rookie teammate Cooper Kupp more than doubled the redzone targets (23) that Watkins had (10).
19) Adam Thielen was a revelation for the Vikings this year. In fact, his 143 targets are the most for a Vikings WR in almost 15 years. Minnesota hasn’t had a WR go over 121 targets since Randy Moss‘ monster 2003 campaign when he had 172 targets and 17 TDs.
20) The Steelers wide receivers are scary good. Antonio Brown finished as a WR1 in all formats, Juju Smith-Schuster finished as a WR2 in all formats and Martavis Bryant disappointed his owners capping the season off as the 49th ranked WR in PPR and 1/2 PPR while falling outside the top 50 WRs in Standard formats.
21) 5 WRs ended the season with 100+ receptions: Jarvis Landry – 112, Larry Fitzgerald – 109, Michael Thomas – 104, Keenan Allen – 102, and Antonio Brown – 101. Only 1 of those 5 WRs, Landry, ranked outside WR1 status in standard format as the WR14.
22) The Detroit Lions are the only team to have 2 WR1s in any scoring format: Marvin Jones (WR11) and Golden Tate (WR12) in PPR. Tate had 13 more targets and 31 more receptions on the year than Jones; however, Tate still ranked 1 spot behind Jones in PPR, 6 spots behind him in half PPR, and 14 spots behind him in standard formats.
23) Despite having fewer than 6 standard fantasy points in 8 games this year, Robby Anderson still ended the season as the WR16. For a 10 week stretch (Weeks 3-13), Anderson was the WR4 in standard leagues.
24) The Bills anemic WR corps compiled the lowest combined PPR score of 319.3 points over the last five years.
25) Amari Cooper was another disappointing wide receiver in 2017. He did have one “out of this world” game in Week 7 with 210 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Cooper accumulated 30.9% of his season total receiving yards in that one game.
Bonus DeAndre Hopkins Stats
-Talk about quarterback-proof. DeAndre Hopkins caught passes from 4 different quarterbacks this season. He has recorded a catch with 11 QBs since his NFL debut in 2013.
-Hopkins, he was a WR2 or better in 93% of his games. The next closest WR had an 81% WR2 or better rate.
-Through the first 8 weeks of the season, DeAndre Hopkins & Will Fuller combined for 14 TDs. No collective group of WRs from any other team in the NFL had that many in that span.